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M855: what does it "penetrate"?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ArmedBear, May 14, 2008.

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  1. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    What do "penetrator" rounds actually go through?

    Steel plate? How thick?
    Body armor? What level?

    Backstop concerns? Do they have hunting applications (assuming that ball rounds are legal for the game and location in question)?

    Or none of the above?

    Anyone know?

    Thanks to anyone who does.
     
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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  3. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    According to the Ammo Oracle:
    If 5.56 is legal to hunt with I suppose you could use it but I'd be concerned about using a fragmenting bullet in something you are going to eat (makes my gums hurt just thinking about it).
     
  4. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    Very briefly:

    Hunting: Very poor choice for hunting anything.

    Penetration:

    Steel plate: Depends on how thick. I know that you don't want to use them on mild steel targets. Not sure how hardened steel poppers would stand up. I would NOT use them on popper targets that I bought for myself, so I won't use them at my range for steel.

    Body Armor: Like a hot knife through butter. Like most high power rifle rounds.


    Backstop concerns: A typical rifle range berm will easily stop them.
     
  5. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    AP it's not--legally or in practical terms. My best undestanding is that it improves nominal penetration at long range--say past 200 meters or so. It can supposedly punch through softer body armor out that far as a result of the penetrator.

    For hunting, I suppose, if you're talking coyote or prarie dog--sure.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Yeah. I should have specified that...

    In most of the West, soft-nose bullets are required for big game anyway, so that's what I meant.

    I often shoot at an indoor 100-yard range. I know that's a rarity, and it seems even stranger in our mild climate. Guess I should have specified that, too.:)
     
  7. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    FMJ or steel core bullets from a 223/5.56 are a poor choice for hunting anything.

    In a coyote they are likely to create a very neat hole with minimal tissue destruction. This is even more true in a prarie dog. Sure the animal will probably die eventually, but this is a cruel way to kill an animal.

    If you are going hunting, the extra cost for a few expanding or fragmenting varmint rounds is negligible compared to making a humane kill.
     
  8. Bitmap

    Bitmap Member

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    I know from experience that it will go through a telephone pole at 200 yards. I don't know if M193 will do that or if .223 JSP rounds will do that.
     
  9. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    I have seen it go through single-plate brake rotors at 25 yards. IIRC, the thickness was in the range of 3/8-7/16" or so.
     
  10. hank327

    hank327 Member

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    IIRC, it was mainly intended to penetrate a steel GI helmet at 600 meters. The 55 grn M193 round used in the M16A1 wouldn't do that reliably at that range.
     
  11. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Yeah, I've always heard that the ability to penetrate both sides of a standard helmet at ~600 meters was one of the requirements, something that the M193 and standard 7.62 rounds could not do.
     
  12. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    One thing that a lot of people don't realize is that M855 penetrates somewhat less in hard objects at closer ranges than M193 does, due to M855's lower velocity. M855's better ballistic coefficient and greater mass give it more penetration at longer ranges, though, where the M193 was considered deficient.
     
  13. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    At close range it will easily make it through any part of a car door. It has pretty good odds of making it out the far side of an automobile as well, depending (so far as I can tell) on how much yaw the bullet goes into, and what it contacts in the first door and interior of the vehicle.
     
  14. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    Neat post, I've always wondered what the practical penetrative properties are!
     
  15. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    'Do they have hunting applications (assuming that ball rounds are legal for the game and location in question)?"



    i often hunt wild hogs with 5.56mm M193 ball. When hit right the hog often dies as if struck by a bolt of lightning. If the bullet does not hit bone, it penetrates for about 6", yaws and breaks up. Unless it is a really big hog the bullet will exit a with a shoulder shot.

    Shot these two immature boars with M193 rounds last week. Red one was hit behind the shoulder. He ran 50-60 yards and died. The black one was running full tilt, quartering slightly away when the bullet hit him to the rear of the shoulder: It shredded the liver and lungs and he fell over kicking on the ground. Did a finishing shot in the head.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=361283
     
  16. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    Is this comment from experience? I am trying to figure out why a soft point round would be more effective in a coyote or a poodle than M193. Is it supposed to fragment reliably? I can understand some of the varmint rounds, but a coyote is a bit bigger than the average varmint.
     
  17. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    Correct, the jsp should fragment sooner and more reliably. Part of the reason why mk262 is considered a better round than m193 is its earlier yaw.

    From DocGKR http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=000059#000004
     
  18. jackdanson

    jackdanson Member

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    It will probably slice right through a car. An aquiantance from my high school got killed about 2 years ago when a carjacker ahole shot him through the back of his car. He drove off when the guy tried to take it and for some reason the scum decided to shoot at the back of the car. 9mm went into the trunk, through the backseat, through the front seat and into the guy. He was a nice guy, 1st gen Bosnian who joined the army (marines? can't remember) senior year.

    No doubt a .223 would go through anything except an axle, wheel, or engine block.
     
  19. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Based on what I've seen personally, it might just go through a wheel, including the rotor.

    This wouldn't make 5.56x45 my first choice for vehicle stops, though...
     
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